Growth is one of the most important goals for any business. No matter what industry you are in, if your business is stagnant, it’s only a matter of time before it’s failing.
You need to keep growing in order to keep up with your competitors, who are assuredly focusing on the same thing. The question then becomes “What are the best ways to encourage business growth?”
One great solution is called Business Process Automation. With BPA you can decrease your business’s operating costs while simultaneously increasing productivity. Here is what you need to know:
What is Business Process Automation?
Business Process Automation, also known as Business Process Management, is when a business uses technology to automate certain repetitive or simple tasks. By allowing technology to handle these more basic tasks for you, you can either reduce your staff or free up your employees to focus on more important things.
According to Prolific’s piece on Business Process Management, it is “designed to make businesses more efficient and to help stabilize the long term efficiency of an organization. Through a variety of technology-based tools, typically this means software applications, certain processes are automated so that fewer resources are devoted to making these things happen manually.”
Why You Need Business Process Automation for Growth
To help illustrate the importance of automation within your business, let’s look at a few statistics provided by Think Automation. These numbers show how BPA can help your business in very specific ways.
According to Think Automation, businesses that implemented automation in their offices were able to generate a return-on-investment ranging from 30 to 200 percent in their first year. This return largely came from labor savings, as these businesses did not need to hire as many people. As this statistic shows, even on the lower end of things, your business can still generate an ROI of 30 percent in the first year. At the upper end of the scale, you could more than double your return on the investment you make into automation.
At the same time, you are lowering costs, you can grow your revenues. According to Think Automation, businesses that are highly automated are 6 times as likely to see revenue growth of at least 15 percent. There are not many things you can do for the business that are as likely to give you that significant amount of growth.
Your Competitors are Doing It
Every single business has competitors within their niche. If all of your competitors find a way to improve their own businesses, and you fail to do the same, it won’t be long before they are attracting all of your customers to them. And, according to Think Automation, your competitors are likely already taking advantage of business automation. Between 2017 and 2019 the number of companies using automation for critical processes rose from just 16 percent all the way up to 50 percent.
According to these numbers, one out of every two companies was using automation as a core part of their business a year ago. If the trend continued, this number could be even higher. The longer you wait to incorporate automation into your own business, the further ahead your competitors will begin to pull.
Simple Ways to Get Started with BPA
To get started with automation in your business, you should first conduct a workflow audit. A workflow audit is when you map out all of the processes and tasks you are running in your business. You should have a step by step chart, including what each person works on and when.
Once you have your audit, you should spend some time examining it. Look for the areas where you or your employees spend the most time. Which tasks are the most time-consuming? How simple are these tasks to perform and how critical are they for your success?
If you find that your team is spending a large amount of time on simple tasks, these are the perfect spot to start automating. You should then explore what software options are available to you that can help with those types of tasks.
For example, maybe your team is spending too much time on simple customer service requests. A way to automate some of this would be by automatically responding to email requests with guides on your website related to their issue. Or you could do something similar with a chatbot, having an AI system answer simple questions from your customers. This would allow technology to handle the most basic of your customer support requests, allowing your customer service team to then only handle the more complicated ones.
Another example of using automation for simple tasks is by sending out email reminders at a specific time. Let’s say your sales staff currently reaches out to customers when your internal data says they are about to run out of your product. Rather than having your sales staff spend time on calls with current customers just to repeat an order, you can have an email automatically sent out, directly the customer to your website where they can renew their order.
There are countless things that you can automate inside a business. This is why it’s important that you start by analyzing your current systems and workflow, then targeting the right areas within your own business.
Get Started with Business Process Automation Today
The sooner you start exploring your automation options, the sooner you can start receiving the benefits. Business automation doesn’t mean you are going to have everything in your business running automatically. You can start off as small as you’d like, trying out different automation practices and seeing what works for you.
Many businesses, including your competitors, have found business automation strategies that have worked for them, leading to an increase in profits. So, get started today by mapping out your business’s workflow, then start exploring your options for how you can automate some of it. When your business is running more efficiently in a few months at a lower cost, you’ll be glad you did.